Adventure Based Training and Its Impact on the Team Cohesion and Psychological Skills Development of Elite Netball Players
Where are we headed with this presentation? A report on my doctoral thesis 2002! – Rationale – A pictorial of The Journey To The Nationals – Methodology: Strong Isomorphism – Findings of Mixed Mode Investigation – Implications for practice & our Industry – Questions
What Can This Presentation Offer Our Industry? Feedback from our clients. We must ensure we are taking them in the direction they need and want to go? The need for strong Isomorphism in our programs. (Ensuring the program is tailored for the clients needs and mirrors their reality) A learning tool for new facilitators
The Connection Between Sport Psychology and Adventure My own journey!
The Connection Between Sport Psychology and Adventure Overcoming self doubt and fears Blocking out distractions and focussing on task
Mental skills learnt during during my outdoor adventures transferred to my sport and life! The question I often pondered was could I take others into the outdoors and teach them mental skills to help their sporting endeavours?
Motivation for the Study Initial concerns for psychology skills training It was boring, it put us to sleep It was boring, it put us to sleep We just sat there and listened it was just like school We just sat there and listened it was just like school Sport psychologys lack of support for my ideas Why take athletes away from their normal training venue? Why take athletes away from their normal training venue? Dissatisfaction with previous adventure based training interventions from sport coaches.
1. Athletes who received an adventure-based training program intervention, would show increased team cohesion when compared to a control group. 2. The duration of the intervention will see longitudinal improvements in all four sub- scales of team cohesion, when compared to a control group. Research Questions? Quantitative Hypotheses
Qualitative Outcome Questions From an athletes or coaches perspective, what were the major outcomes of the adventure-based training program; and how did they impact most upon the team in the following areas: – What new skills or knowledge about themselves or other teammates did individuals take away with them from the adventure-based training camp? – How did the team or individuals within the team change as a result of their adventure experience? What new skills were developed that helped the team? – Was there any direct evidence that psychological skills learnt during the adventure training camp were directly transferable to netball training or competition?
Qualitative Process Questions From an athletes or coaches perspective, what processes during the adventure-based training weekend had the most impact on the team? – What elements of the training intervention had the most impact on athletes? Why was this significant for these athletes? – How did this camp differ (if at all), from previous adventure-based training camps, which the athletes had been on in the past? – How did the outdoor bush environment impact on the program? Was it an advantage or a disadvantage traveling away from their usual training venues?
NSW Netball: Needs Analysis A bunch of individually talented athletes with the ability to win the nationals but failed the previous year. Cliques and negative behaviour toward each other on and off the court, was impacting on the team. No mental toughness during the pressure of competition. Lack of mental skills to handle this pressure In order to address these issues the intervention was structured to ensure……
STRONG ISOMORPHISM ( Priest & Gass, 1997) The adventure experience had to mirror the clients needs!
Assessed, identified & ranked client goals [coach meetings] Created a metaphoric experience that possessed a strong isomorphic relationship to playing as team at the national championships. Provided opportunities to explore how resolution during the adventure would correspond to life at netball. Strengthened the isomorphic framework by using client language that mirrored their reality as netball players. Constant review of activity selection to ensure clients were motivated. (If it does not move group towards your program goals then dont do it). Conduct the experience with revisions. Look out for that teachable moment; the program is not static. Debrief focussed on how behaviours learnt would help or hinder netball training or performance. STEPS THAT GUIDED THE INTERVENTION ISOMORPHISM (Priest & Gass, 1997) Priest & Gass, 1997Priest & Gass, 1997
The Intervention Sequencing of activities: sequencing of activities can improve team cohesion of groups! (Bisson, 1997)(Bisson, 1997) – Group formation activities (Forming) Ice breakers. Categories, Have you ever (Ronke, 1984)(Ronke, 1984) – Group challenge activities (Storming) Games requiring the team to function together – Group support activities (Norming) Climbing, abseiling, giant swing – Group achievement activities (Performing) Bush walking, team campout, group swim, caving Journey to the Nationals From Storming to Performing
Friday Night Psychological skills development Goal setting Awareness of ideal state Self- Monitoring Self- Regulation
AN ATHLETES PERSPECTIVE OF THE INTERVENTION Hi! I am the leg of one of the under 17 NSW netball players. Let me share with you part of the journey that I had to endure through the bush, cliffs, rivers and caves of Kangaroo Valley! It taught me a lot.
We were getting wet in the first 5 minutes, but it seemed easy. Everyone was saying it would be a piece of cake First up was the mother of all bush walks that lasted over 12 hours
Things soon changed! All us legs had to begin to work together! We began to have to think as a team
I am glad we are all helping each other through the difficult sections! NOT! What is wrong with this picture? Are we working like a team of netballers? Or, are we individuals who are in the same netball team that dont care about anyone else?
Over a break we talked about how we could overcome the challenges the river posed! The ideas were similar to what we needed to do on the netball court
A Focus On Personal Mental Skills Centre, focus on yourself, dont think about the things out of your control.
Bush Walk Metaphor of a journey to nationals. Through the physical & psychological challenges of a netball nationals campaign a team must stick together. During this section of the walk today you must work together all the way to the top. Dont leave the slower people behind. Setting up a double bind! Theyre too slow, lets just go off ahead! Debrief: We had two choices today. To work as a team or to carry on our path of self destruction where we play one out and forget about our team-mates. What kind of behaviour do you want your team to have at the national championships?
Oh no, not more scratches! This hurts. We legs were really complaining now. Remember team rule #1, No Complaining! Just stay focused on the task. Dont waste energies on distractions that will take us away from our goals
Once at the top it gave us an opportunity however to sit and reflect on who we were and where we were headed By the time we got to the top of the mountain we were aching and tired! Why did we have to come all the way up here to sort this out? We began the walk like a team of individuals, but we started to pull together near the top A group in conflict with clique behaviour damaging performance! A question for the audience to see if you are still awake! Used in this session were: Mini Solo Reflection Time Questions were given to ponder; Strengths & weaknesses of team? Sharing circle used to share ideas Facilitated problem solving session After hiking to the top of this mountain, how would you utilise this location & situation to address some of the negative team issues that were distracting this team from their goals? The power of the wilderness to heal problems!
This session was the beginning of us coming together as a team Here I am, you can see the big cut on my leg!
After a big day out we still were not off the mountain, instead of complaining we finally worked together
No cabins, no tents Only a big tarp to sleep under. We thought we would be sleeping in cabins! Showers from a billy. We stank so bad! Then we had to cook & clean. By the time we got to bed it was midnight. This was all about learning to deal with the unexpected situations that may occur in sport and being ready to deal with them! Upon Return To Camp The Pressure Continued
5.30 AM The Next Morning As Twilight Filtered Through The Morning Mist
5.30am! Well that is the best alarm clock Ive ever had.. NOT! I dont work at this time of the day The bagpipe alarm clock sounded
This is crazy Block out the negatives. If youre tired at Nationals you still have to play no matter how you are feeling. Okay team lets swim across, we can do this together
Meditation Visualisatio n Learning to prepare mind and body for competition After the swim we had to sit for an hour preparing our minds for competition!
Its dark like when we play at night I feel so nervous like before a big game I feel like I do when I have to sink a goal under pressure. My heart is racing For me, I have come to the realisation that I will not be able to get out of this hole [cave] on my own, we will have to do it as a team It reminds of the night before a big game, I feel really anxious Can anyone please tell me what the hell going caving has to do with playing netball?
Im not sure but I think it goes somewhere You are kidding me arent you, there is no way we can fit through that space
You let go and I will kill you Dont worry I will support you
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Its okay we have got you! The coaching staff were in position to catch & support each player through the laundry shute!
So in our earlier exploration to find our way down here you all felt it was impossible to get through the squeeze. This was with lights on…… No way, it is impossible to get out of here with out lights on! What? We have to hand our headlamps in???? Rather than exhausting our energies on what is not possible, what would it look like if we all concentrated our energies on how we can work as a team to get out of here? What you just described to me then, sounds exactly like the skills a team would need to win a national netball championship. How about we give it a try?
The whole weekend built a bond that was the foundation from which we won the national championships. After this weekend nothing in our lives seemed impossible!
We are behind and were in a hole. Remember how we worked together to get out of that cave. We can do the same here. 1, 2, 3, out of this hole.
10 Seconds to go My body has frozen My heart is racing I feel like when I was caving Centre, breathe, relax, visualise Focus on the things I can control The goal goes in to tie the match The Isomorphic Metaphor! The connection between netball & adventure We are a goal behind I can hear the crowd screaming We have to either tie or win to go into the grand final
Controlling the stress of caving transferred to netball Breathe deep, exhale, feel your body relax, focus on you! These same skills are exactly what you need to do to maintain control and concentration during a netball game
It does not matter if we are on the bench we are still part of the team
Teamwork Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has Margaret Mead. NSW NETBALL: AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONS 1999 I hope you like the guided tour I gave you!
Any Questions Related To What We Have Just Seen?
Methodology Recommendations & processes that guided this research project
Recommendations From Existing Research Neill (1988) lack of description from past studies – More info on instruction and facilitation. [Will be available from Amazon.com in a paper back book by the end of the year ] Ewert (1982) whats happening inside the black box? It is no longer a mystery! Why & how did change occur? Martens (1987) positivists stifling sport psychology research through the removal of the person from the process of knowing. Dale (1996) existential phenomenology and sport psychology. Emphasizing the experience of the athletes.
Methodology Overview of quasi-experimental mixed mode research design Overview of quasi-experimental mixed mode research design Treatment Group n= 23 Treatment Group n= 23 Control Group n= 11 Control Group n= 11 Intervention
Instrumentation The Group Environment Questionnaire Was Administered At 4 Time Measures The Group Environment Questionnaire Was Administered At 4 Time Measures (Carron, Brawley, Widmeyer, 1985) Measures Group Cohesion on 4 sub scales – Individual attraction to group on task – Individual attraction to group Social – Group integration on task – Group integration social
Quantitative Survey Results (A): Analysis of variance tests were conducted across all three groups for each time-period. (B): Effect size testing examined changes within each group for times 1-2, 2-3, 3-4.Effect size
Repeated measures analysis showing interaction between groups and time on the ATG-T sub-scale. Individual Attraction To Group On Task ATG-T Subscale ATG-T Subscale ATG-T Subscale Lines considered not to be parallel thus interaction occurred Individual team members feelings about their personal involvement with the group task, productivity, goals and objectives
Effect Size Change ATG-T Subscale Comparison of effect size change for three groups across time for ATG-T subscale. Effect SizeDescription Below.1No detectable change.1 to.2Small Change.2 to.3Small-Med Change.3 to.4Med Change (Ave OE).4 to.5Med Large Change.5 to.6Large Change Above.6Particularly large change
Individual Attraction to Group Social ATG-S Subscale ATG-S Subscale ATG-S Subscale Repeated measures analysis showing interaction between groups and time on the ATG-S sub-scale. Lines considered not to be parallel thus interaction occurred Individual team members feelings about their personal involvement, acceptance and social interaction within the group.
Effect Size Change ATG-S Subscale Comparison of effect size change for three groups across time for ATG-S subscale. Effect SizeDescription Below.1No detectable change.1 to.2Small Change.2 to.3Small-Med Change.3 to.4Med Change (Ave OE).4 to.5Med Large Change.5 to.6Large Change Above.6Particularly large change
Group Integration on Task GI-T Subscale GI-T SubscaleGI-T Subscale Repeated measures analysis showing interaction between groups and time on the GI-T sub-scale. Lines considered not to be parallel thus interaction occurred Individual team members feelings about the similarity, closeness, and bonding within the team as whole around the groups task.
Effect Size Change GI-T Subscale Comparison of effect size change for three groups across time for GI-T subscale. Effect SizeDescription Below.1No detectable change.1 to.2Small Change.2 to.3Small-Med Change.3 to.4Med Change (Ave OE).4 to.5Med Large Change.5 to.6Large Change Above.6Particularly large change
Group Integration Social GI-S Subscale GI-S Subscale GI-S Subscale Repeated measures analysis showing interaction between groups and time on the GI-S sub-scale Lines considered to be parallel thus no interaction Individual team members feelings about the similarity, closeness, and bonding within the team as a whole around the group as a social unit
Qualitative Results Existential Phenomenology What was the athletes story? Dale (1996) recommended hearing from those involved in the research as to whether the intervention was beneficial to them as individuals or as a team. What was the athletes story? Dale (1996) recommended hearing from those involved in the research as to whether the intervention was beneficial to them as individuals or as a team. – Was the learning transferable to Netball? – Did it help in netball competition? The participants told their story! The participants told their story! I believe the athletes story has a very strong message for our industry and how we conduct programs!
Qualitative Outcomes Group-Cohesion Improved on court performance Change outside of netball
Process Factors That Helped Achieve Outcomes Unfreezing Moving Refreezing Lewins Change Theory
4 Years Later Many of the athletes that participated in the intervention are now playing in the National Netball League with the Sydney Sandpipers. The Under 19 Coach in now the coach of this team. Talking to her last week, she was telling me how the adventure experience from this intervention is still having a powerful impact on the athletes. Maybe an area for follow up research!?
Implications for practice Ensure programming addresses the needs of the client. Include clients in the planning phase. Facilitate the program at a level appropriate for desired outcomes. Activities need strong isomorphism! Sequence activities to suit stages of group development (Bisson, 1997). Activities need strong isomorphism! The correct style of facilitation and metaphor development for the clients needs can greatly enhance the experience. Greater emphasis on training facilitators in our own programs and the tertiary sector can help ensure quality programming. A Change Agent that can teach, inspire, motivate, and lead a group to a new level of personal performance is critical in the adventure process with athletic teams [and all clients]. Sport coaches and sport psychologists should consider utilising experiential teaching methods in their sports.
?Questions and Comments? I can do it! email@example.com For more Information contact:
[Under 19 Coach]: At one point in the cave, I was asked to spot the girls as they came out that vertical hole. At that time all my instincts were telling me to get out of the cave, I felt like I could not breathe and I was losing control, and panicking. However, I focused, and realised that to learn to breathe, centre, relax, and gain control for the better of the team was more important. Putting the Team Before Self
[Under 19 player] I felt we were pushed both physically and mentally to the edge of what I could take when caving. I just wanted to get out of that cave and end it, but you couldnt do a thing, you were stuck. Instead of freaking out you had to stay in control to help those around you so we all could get out. You had to trust yourself to get through it. Developing team-work in the face of extreme stress and anxiety.
[Under 19 player] Our talk on the mountain made me feel that people would listen to me. I could share my feelings honestly, this helped me trust everyone. Up unto this point I felt like I was not part of the team, I did not connect with many in the team and felt like no one was interested in my feelings or what I had to offer. It was good to see we finally found a way to talk about the problems in the team. Improved Relationships Decreased Dysfunction
[Extract from phenomenological interview with Under 19 player] The game was so close and we were behind with several minutes to go. During a time out we had talked about how we had to really lift if we were going to narrow the other teams lead. The rest of the team just hustled, they chased down everything, and turned this into attack feeding me the ball. We were one goal down with only about ten seconds to go, and the other team had the ball down the other end of the court attacking. Marion however intercepted a pass and threw this giant bomb right at me, I caught it with only a few seconds left on the clock. My heart was just pounding; it felt like it was trying to jump out of my chest. My muscles felt heavy, like I could not control them, and I was all light headed. I had a flash back of lying in that squeeze section of the cave talking to you, the feelings I was having were the same, however this time I immediately knew what I had to do to gain control. I briefly closed my eyes, took a breath, and told myself to relax. I felt this unbelievable sense of calm. I saw myself using good shooting technique and the ball going into the net. I opened my eyes, and took the shot; it went in. We tied the match. We knew this was enough to get us into the final the next day. Transfer from the Adventure Environment to Netball was Clearly Evident in the Data
Improved Social Relations = Platform for Improved Performance [Under 17 coach] To get away from the netball environment allowed the team to get to know each other in another dimension as people and not just netballers. Under 17 player] Waking up at sunrise to the bagpipes and swimming across the lake, made us feel like we were all doing these hard things together, no one complained, we just got in and did it for each other. [Under 19 player] During the caving, the coaches were crying and scared, they went through what we did. Instead of a them and us feeling between the coaches and players, we all felt as one, working toward the same goal. [Under 17 player] Once we got out of the caves, we hugged her (the coach). After this we could talk to her, it made her more approachable and easier to talk to. We seemed to really trust her decisions and coaching much more.
Team Cohesion: Caving to the Court [Under 19 Team Captain] I did not go into the cave with the girls because of my ankle, but I was there when they came out, it was amazing to see the emotion and relief when they made it out. Whatever occurred in that cave it helped us win the nationals without a doubt. The team came up with this call out of this hole, for me, I thought it was a bit silly to begin with as I could not relate to what it was supposed to mean. The others told me about it, and how they thought they were going to die, but because they all stuck together, they got out of the cave. Whenever we were in trouble we would use this to our advantage, and everyone would just put the extra in to get us over the obstacle. I can still vividly feel the power and enthusiasm of the others, it made a difference to the way we played. Transfer Of Skills Can & Does Occur
Changes Outside Netball [Under 17 coach] During caving, I wanted to turn the light on when we were trying to get out of the cave with lights out. I was so scared. I felt I had no control whatsoever over my body, my thinking, I could not get it together. I got more out of this training than just things to do with netball. I was so emotional for days after this weekend. I would just keep breaking down in tears. I am someone who has always been able to do anything I tried, needing no help from others. Outside netball, I always try to take too much on. To get out of the cave I had to let go of the control I usually have, and rely on others to help me. This has taught me to ask for help, and that asking for help is okay. [Under 19 player] Not only did the weekend teach us how to be good netballers, it taught us how to be the best at life.
The Importance Of Facilitating To Client Needs [Under 19 player] The camp last year was just like fun games. However, this years camp we were just thrust into the thick of it. There were no easy options, like when we had to climb to the top of the mountain, we then had to remain together to get down again, otherwise we would not have got out. Last year, you were not put into a situation where you had to push yourself. [Under 19 player] The first camp we went on, the leaders used all the buzz words about being a team, then they had us do low or high rope activities, like all stand on a log together and we were supposed to be a team. We didnt have to push each other. This years camp was individual and group focused and we were all pushed hard, and we had to work together to get through it. [Under 19 Coach] The adventure camp last year was at a superficial level, and I felt this is where our team was as well. This year was REAL, and it allowed us to get down to the deeper issues that I knew were affecting the team, and holding back performance on the court. I knew if we could solve the problems we would begin to see the talent, the girls really had.
Wilderness As A Healing Place [Under 19 player] The outdoors provided an environment where everyone was equal. The coaches, new and old players were all the same; you could say what you wanted to anyone without feeling threatened. [Under 19 player] The outdoor environment provided an atmosphere to air grievances, which we had not been able to do back in Sydney. [Under 17 player] Being out in the bush was new, and provided a safe place for us to communicate. [Under 19 player] Why did we have to come all the way up here to sort this out? Couldnt this of happened in Sydney?
References Bisson, C. (1997). The effects of varying the sequence of categories of adventure activities on the development of group cohesion. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Northern Colorado. Greeley. Priest, S. & Gass, M. (1997) Effective leadership in adventure programming. Human Kinetics. Champaign. Ill. USA (Back)Back Rohnke, K. (1995). Quicksilver. Kendall Hunt Publishing. Rohnke, K. (1989). Cowstails and Cobras II. Kendall Hunt Publishing. Rohnke, K. (1984). Silver Bullets. Project Adventure Inc. Publishers. Back to Friday Night
GEQ Sub Scale Explanation Individual Attraction to Group – Task Individual Attraction to Group – Task: [ATG-T] Individual team members feelings about their personal involvement with the group task, productivity, goals and objectives. Eg: I do not like the style of play of this team. Individual Attraction to Group – Task Individual Attraction to Group – Task Individual Attraction to Group – Social Individual Attraction to Group – Social: [ATG-S] Individual team members feelings about their personal involvement, acceptance and social interaction within the group. EG: some of my best friends are on this team. Individual Attraction to Group – Social Individual Attraction to Group – Social Group Integration – Task Group Integration – Task: [GI-T] Individual team members feelings about the similarity, closeness, and bonding within the team as whole around the groups task. EG: Our team is united in trying to reach its goals for performance. Group Integration – Task Group Integration – Task Group Integration – Social Group Integration – Social: [GI-S] Individual team members feelings about the similarity, closeness, and bonding within the team as a whole around the group as a social unit. EG: Members of our team do not stick to together outside of practices and games. Group Integration – Social Group Integration – Social
Quantitative Data Analysis Cohen (1994), significance testing has not only failed to support the advance of psychology as a science but also has seriously impeded it Significance testing can lead to false conclusions, ie) type I or type II errors – Type I errors falsely conclude an effect when there is none. Controlled by.05 error rate – Type II errors falsely conclude no effect when there is an effect. Controlled by increasing sample size or increasing critical alpha to.10 or greater. Traditional Significance Testing (Neill in press)
Traditional Significance Testing 35% of outdoor ed studies may have reported false conclusions through type II errors ( Hattie, Marsh, Neill, & Richards, 1997) Significance testing was designed to give binary answers, ie) either yes or no Significance testing only tells whether an effect has occurred, but does not tell whether one program was more or less effective than another Outdoor ed research could benefit more from understanding how much change occurred. (Neill, in press)
Effect Size Effect size measures how much change (or difference) there is between two sets of scores A negative ES score indicates a reduced score A Score of 0 indicates no change A positive ES score indicates an increase in score
% Effect Size % Effect Size Description Below.1 No detectable change.1 to.2 Small Change.2 to.3 Small-Med Change.3 to.4 Med Change (Ave OE).4 to.5 Med Large Change.5 to.6 Large Change Above.6 Particularly large change
Effect Size Definition The major new statistical tool, which is recommended for adoption by outdoor education researchers and evaluators, is called an effect size (ES). The ES measures how much change or difference there is between two sets of scores. In mathematical terms, an ES is the average difference between two sets of scores in standard deviation units. An ES measures, for example, the standardized change in raw scores between the beginning and end of an outdoor education program. Neill, (1999).